What this proposal will mean for YOU – parents of Infant-aged children, present and future…

Did you know that if your children are in the infants, they will immediately lose access to:

  1. All their amazing outdoor spaces

    1. The fantastic timber trail (by the way, paid for by us, the community) will be lost to our children. How many of us have stayed after school during warmer months for the children to play there together?!

    2. The amphitheatre where Mrs Parratt takes the children for forest school, the large playground with its murals and the ‘lake’ and bridge area. No more ‘pirates’ on the bridge.

    3. The wonderful nursery garden – the envy of nurseries everywhere! – which has taken years create. They will lose the covered outside area (the canopy, installed a few years ago, at the cost of thousands of pounds) which enables them to play outside whatever the weather (well, almost!) They will lose the log circle and the decking area, the site of so much summer-time fun and outdoor milk and fruit times. Worst of all, they will lose the climbing frame, slide and tyre swing. They just have so much fun, gaining climbing and balancing confidence, learning group-working and just playing together.

    4. They also lose the reception garden, specially designed for imaginative play and growing bodies.

  2. Inside the school, did you know the children regularly use rooms other than their classrooms?

    1. They have the ‘happy’ room, a wonderfully warm, inviting room, used to support children who might be struggling with their behaviour, and at other times all children use it for small group working and story times (we have dozens of beautiful ‘story sacks’ in there to support reading and creative writing). This room will not be replaced in the new school.

    2. The multi-sensory room is such a wonderful resource for all the children, not just those in the school with additional learning needs. Have you seen it? It’s amazing! It is just such an inviting, relaxing room, perfect for such young children. Sadly, if the amalgamation goes ahead, this is the last year that the Gaer children will have this space as it is not to be replaced.

    3. The children love the library, but that peaceful, educational space will be lost as it is not to be included at the new school. The love of books is a gift that the Gaer Infants has been giving to many years of Gaer children, and yet a perfect space for doing that – the library – is to be lost. How is this ‘forward thinking’ or designed for the educational benefits of the children?

    4. Pat the Artist’s art room will be lost to future generations of the Gaer. Who has not been blown away by the awesome art that decks the school, particularly in the hall? She has created all that, in conjunction with past pupils, from her art room treasures. Without space to store her things, and the room next to it in which she often works with the children in small groups, she will not be able to continue to make sure fantastic works of art with our children in future.

    5. As no new hall is to be built, all the classes of the new school will have to schedule time in the Junior school hall. This means 14 classes of children trying to access one room throughout a week, for example for indoor PE. This is impossible in reality. Not only that, but the Infants School has a long and proud history of shows and concerts, possible because we have easy access during the week for rehearsals and practices. It is highly unlikely such access will be possible with 7 year groups needing to use the space, and therefore the termly shows will probably not be possible any more. I for one will miss this greatly.

  3. Rising 3s in the Nursery

    1. The new school will have a nursery reduced by 1/3 – that is, 35 children fewer (64 in total). Currently, the nursery is full by each summer term, with around 98 children (49 morning, 49 afternoon).

      ‘Rising 3s’ means that children can attend a nursery from the term after they turn 3. On the Gaer, most people choose the Gaer Infants’ nursery rather than a private provider. For some children, this means that they complete as many as 5 full terms in the nursery before moving on to reception.

      Under the proposal, because in each September the nursery already has nearly 64 children who are doing their full nursery year, it will not be possible to take many, if any, children in the January and April. This means the parents of those children will either have to find another provider (this is what the Council intends, listing a local private nursery as the ‘solution’ to this problem) or not attend a nursery at all until the September after their birthday. If you work, or were thinking of going back to work, this could really affect your families. But even more, it will mean that they will be denied the wonderful educational environment that the very youngest nursery children thrive in, for as good as private providers are, they are not able to provide the same level of education that school-based nurseries can. Is this fair? NO!

 

So, you can see that if you have, or in the future will have, children in the Infants’ school, they will miss out on so very many things that those who went before them have enjoyed and benefited tremendously from. They lose in every regards, and gain NOTHING AT ALL from this proposal.

Don’t let Newport Council get away with this – join us to fight for the very best education and environment for our youngest children.

Next, what it means for parents of Junior-aged children….

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